Just occasionally I get a nice surprise. And on Friday I was super pleasantly surprised. We headed to a restaurant located in a mall. Now when I think of restaurants in malls, my expectations are not that high. But this restaurant quite simply doesn’t belong in a mall. I’m talking about ‘Layali Aley’. Located on a corner of Gulf Mall, and accessible only from the outside. So you could argue it’s outside a mall instead of inside.
I knew nothing about the restaurant in advance. I was invited by my son to go with him, and he didn’t know much about it either until we got there. So this is why I had such a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Layali Aley is quite simply opulent. Oozing with quality and comfort. And serving some of the best Lebanese cuisine I have ever tried. Their food is right up there with the very finest in Qatar. Not what you expect to find in a mall. And here is the real kicker… they are really, really, reasonably priced. Our three courses with drinks (excluding shisha) came to around QR 200 each. And trust me you would not mind paying it.
The soft furnishings mean you feel relaxed and unhurried. This is an environment where you can settle down and dwell. The service was attentive and informative, and quite educational as well for me. There is nothing rushed about Layali Aley. You do not feel like you are being processed, harvested and your table released as soon as possible.
The food was exceptional. I’m not a food critic, so I’m not going to bore you with detail. I will simply say that the food was cooked to perfection, presented beautifully and burst with flavor.
After our meal we settled back and enjoyed some shisha. I’m not a shisha expert, but this was good shisha. If you don’t like smoke there are areas where you can escape it.
If you are in, or near Gulf Mall. I strongly recommend you set aside some time for Layali Aley. Take some good company with you, and be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Ask for Krishna, he will look after you.
I need to tell you about a really nice Indian restaurant Vic and I discovered near Abu Hamour. While out for a drive we both felt hungry and both fancied a curry. So we check our Entertainer App for a nearby Indian restaurant and Kababs and Kurries caught our attention. We decided that Kababs & Kurries would be a good choice as it’s located in 01 Mall and we could pop into the Mega Mart branch there at the same time.
We arrived in Kababs & Kurries around lunch time. It was not busy with only two tables occupied. Staff were warm and welcoming and seated us in one of their booths that had the ability of becoming private by closing their curtains (which we did not). We were working our way through the menu pondering which two courses to order when I spotted an advertisement on an adjacent table for a lunchtime offer. Our Entertainer App had a voucher for ‘Buy one main course, get another main course free’. So we intended to order two main courses and share them, which is our normal modus operandi. But we decided not to use our Entertainer voucher and go for the ‘Non Veg Thali’ at QR 55 each instead (only available 12pm to 4pm).
After ordering we were invited to select which flavor yogurt drink we wanted to accompany our meal. I can’t remember what the options were, but both Vic and I went for mango. Whilst waiting for food, I started sipping away at my mango yogurt drink and considered that in other establishments I would have been charged around QR 20 for the drink alone. And it would have been worth it! I love yogurt drinks and this was delicious. We were also given nibbles and dips to keep us occupied while awaiting the main event.
Tastes as good as it looks
When our food arrived it looked amazing. And it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The meats were boneless and good cuts, cooked to perfection. The sauces were tangy and bursting with flavor. Vic had ordered hers less spicy than mine, and they got both of our spice heats spot on, so we could both enjoy our meal. Amazingly we both managed to finish our meals. But it was a while before either of us could leave the table as we were both so full.
Would we go again?
This meal went straight into my top 10 of favorite Indian meals ever. Was it worth QR 55 each? Hell yes! Would we go back? Absolutely, and we would be prepared to cross town to do it.
If the Thali is a bit more than you want to pay for a spot of lunch, then there is their ‘Executive Lunchbox’ to consider as well. We noticed one of the other tables enjoying Kababs & Kurries Executive Lunchbox, and that looked well worth a go as well.
This morning I was told by a colleague that a restaurant located in Doha Downtown Hotel (Al Sadd) was offering a comprehensive buffet breakfast for just QR 25. I did not believe him so he took me there. And it’s actually true, a restaurant I had never heard of called ‘Haret Jdoudna’ located within the Doha Downtown Hotel is indeed offering a full buffet breakfast for just QR 25. And it’s good!
This is McDonald’s prices for a real, proper breakfast, and it’s unlimited. Unlimited hot drinks and cold juices, cold meats, cheeses, hot selection of… oh you get the idea. Their live cooking egg station made me a delicious cheese omelette and yes that’s unlimited as well. No hidden charges for anything, not even water. All you will pay is QR 25. I could not believe it, and I had to keep checking that it was only going to cost QR 25. It was indeed only QR 25. And at the end I was so full I couldn’t even fit in one item from the selection of cakes, croissants and pastries on offer.
I was so impressed at the value being offered that I decided to write about it immediately. I haven’t blogged for a while, because nothing recently has been worth writing about. Until today.
Yesterday I was in the Mövenpick Doha for breakfast. And I had a fabulous breakfast for just QR 75 each. I considered that outstanding value for what I had. And I would recommend their breakfast to anyone. The week before I was in the ‘Indian Coffee House’ where I paid a mere QR 23 per head for unlimited breakfast buffet. But they charged QR 5 for an omelette, charged for water and only gave 1 free cup of tea and charged QR 3 for each one after that. So I ended up paying more than QR 25 per head there but considered that outstanding value as well. But ‘Haret Jdoudna’ (which I cannot pronounce) have smashed the price barrier with their breakfast. Honestly, don’t take my word for it, you have got to go and try Haret Jdoudna’s breakfast for yourself. It’s a complete bargain. You will have a fantastic breakfast and pay just QR 25. I still can’t believe my breakfast this morning was only QR 25.
Here is a map to help you find the place. Oh, and due to the roadworks, parking may be a bit tricky at the moment. But you will find somewhere to park, and it will be worth it.
Breakfast is severed daily from 6:30am until 10:30am. On Saturday’s it’s served 6:30am until 1pm. And yes it costs just QR 25 per head.
Having recently had very bad experiences with both Pizza Hut and Domino’s, I was quite keen to try out a new kid on the block.
Located next to the Centro Hotel in Al Jazeera Street, Castello is a small restaurant with takeaway on the ground floor and a seating area upstairs.
It’s prices are good with a small salami pizza costing QR 30 and a large costing QR 40. Margarita pizza QR 24 (S) / QR 34 (L) and a further 16 other toppings available.
Quality is Good. However Trip Adviser only allow the selection of Average or Very Good (nothing in the middle). And it is neither of those, so to be fair to them I gave them very good as their Trip Adviser rating rather than average.
The bases are made from scratch and I believe are all thin and crispy. I ordered a large Seafood for QR 49. The base was perfect, the topping was good (not average and not very good) just good. Not enough basil or oregano for me, and although they asked me how spicy I would like it (I said Spicy but not too spicy) there was no hint of spicy heat to be found. But I still enjoyed it. Was it worth QR 49…. yes it was. Would I go back again…. yes I would.
I’m looking forward to trying their other more interesting toppings that are not on the big high street chain menus.
I have been hearing good things about the Indian Coffee House for quite some time. And yesterday I decided to pop along and give it a try.
Now here is the thing, I didn’t go and try one of their unlimited buffets that I have heard so much about. It could be that when I try one of those (which I am going to do sometime soon) I will consider them better value. But based upon yesterday’s visit I consider them overpriced.
For QR 24 I would expect my Mutton Biriyani to be exceptional, but I only found it OK. I have had as good as that at half the price.
Fish Mango Curry; The gravy/sauce was delicious. Loads of flavour with just the right amount of heat. I loved it. Except that there was hardly any fish in it. It was all sauce. And because of that I consider QR 22 to be too expensive.
Kashmiri Pulae Rice; Very nice, but once again a little on the expensive side.
Meal total for 2 people QR 80 including 3 x cans of soda water. QR 40 per head! Not worth it. I could have got much better value elsewhere.
Service was warm and friendly. Ambiance was very nice, and they do have plentiful private parking which is also very nice.
I will let you know what I think of their Breakfast Buffet once I have tried it. But I really do have high expectations of that, and I do believe I am going to be singing its praises once I have.